Study of erythrocytes as a novel drug carrier for the delivery of artemether
Resealed erythrocytes have been explored in various dimensions of drug delivery, owing to their high biocompatibility and inability to initiate immune response. The present research was designed to evaluate the drug delivery potential of erythrocytes by loading a hydrophobic anti-malarial drug, Artemether. Three different loading techniques were applied to achieve maximum optimized drug loading. A HPLC method was validated for drug quantification in erythrocytes. The relatively high loading was achieved using hypotonic treatment was 31.39% as compared to other two methods. These, drug loaded erythrocytes were characterized for membrane integrity via ESR showing higher ESR values for drug loaded cells as compared to normal cells. Moreover, microscopic evaluation was done to observe morphological changes in erythrocytes after successful loading which showed swollen cells with slight rough surface as compared to smooth surface of normal cells. Drug release was studied for 8 h which showed more than 80% release within 3-7 h from erythrocytes treated with different hypotonic methods. Overall, the study revealed a potential application of erythrocytes in delivery of hydrophobic drugs using hypotonic treatment as compared to other methods.
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